Immigration bill raises hopes of North Coast, Petaluma immigrants

Details of the wide-ranging immigration bill emerged from the nation's capital Tuesday, fueling hopes among some North Coast immigrants that it would finally give them a path to live in the United States legally.

The bill, crafted by a bipartisan group of eight senators known as the Gang of Eight, would create a new "legal status" — Registered Provision Immigrant, or RPI — for many of the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants.

But this status — as well as the possibly of later earning legal permanent residency and ultimately U.S. citizenship — would be contingent on the country meeting a number of "border security triggers."

To meet that goal, the federal government would target up to $7 billion for border security measures, including beefed up border patrols, unmanned surveillance drones, new communications systems and increased border fencing.

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